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Price of oil falls below US$107 per barrel as tensions over Syria’s civil war fall

President Barack Obama has had difficulty convincing the world about the need to take action against Syria's government in response to an alleged chemical attack


September 3, 2013
by The Canadian Press

BANGKOK—The price of oil dropped September 2 as the likelihood of an imminent US attack against Syria diminished.

Benchmark crude for October delivery was down US$1.03 to $106.62 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.15 to close at $107.65 on August 30.

President Barack Obama has had difficulty convincing the world about the need to take action against Syria’s government in response to an alleged chemical attack last month that the US says killed at least 1,429 civilians. That number is significantly higher than the death toll of 355 provided by the aid group Doctors Without Borders.

Only France is firmly on board among the major military powers, after Britain’s Parliament rejected the use of force in a vote last week. Both Russia and China strongly oppose unilateral US military action.

While Syria is not a major oil producer, it straddles a region that is. The possibility of a wider conflict, one that could interrupt production and shipping routes in the region, has pushed oil prices higher in recent days.

Brent crude, the benchmark for international crudes, was down 17 cents to $113.84 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

  • Wholesale gasoline was down 5.6 cents to $2.87 per gallon.
  • Heating oil lost 5.7 cents to $3.132 per gallon.
  • Natural gas rose 3.4 cents to $3.652 per 1,000 cubic feet.